Josh Brolin in Milk
Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road
Four of these performances are more than worthy: Josh Brolin as Harvey Milk's creepy-pitiable killer, Robert Downey Jr. as an over-the-edge Method actor, dark horse Michael Shannon as a gimlet-eyed holy fool, and a bellowing Philip Seymour Hoffman as an accused priest. But...
O's Winner Is...
...Stating the obvious, Heath will win.
Missing in Action
If only there could be a sixth slot reserved for James Franco's gently understated work as Harvey Milk's wary lover/adviser/support system in Milk.
The "Full Mags" feature on the Tropic Thunder disc allows you to watch the endlessly inventive Downey improvise his way through multiple variations on a single scene.